jay_jay_clothing_stores_promote_sprit_day_gay_bullying_campaign_south_africaBranches of the Jay Jays Australian clothing brand in South Africa are selling purple wristbands to mark Thursday’s international Spirit Day anti-bullying campaign.

The wristbands cost only R20 for five at all Jay Jays stores, located in numerous malls across the country.

“As a brand, Jay Jays is synonymous with free-thinking young people, which is why equality and freedom of expression is such an important cause to them,” said a statement on the PushPurple Spirit Day SA website.

Spirit Day was started in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan in honour of LGBT teens who committed suicide due to anti-gay bullying.

The annual event is now marked by individuals, corporations and organisations in the US and around the world by wearing purple or using the colour in logos or profile pictures for the day.

The local Spirit Day campaign is fronted by blogger and radio personality Mika Stefano who has enlisted a host of local celebrities, including DJ Zinhle, J’Something, Roxy Burger and Dineo Ranaka, to show their support for LGBT youth.

“As you know I am very passionate about this. Not only because I too was bullied as a child, but also because I feel as a young South African coming from a country that has fought against discrimination we shouldn’t have to face such ‘basic’ challenges,” said Stefano.

Stefano says he hopes to grow the local Spirit Day campaign into a road show to schools in 2014.

Everyone is encouraged to wear purple, change their social media profiles pictures to a purple image and use the hashtag #PushPurple on Thursday.

Watch the 2012 Spirit Day campaign video below.

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